tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE's Reviews > Fait-Divers

Fait-Divers by Mok Hossfeld
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really liked it
bookshelves: art, literature

Ah! This bk was published by & dedicated to Rupert Wondlowski (herein reduced to Rupert W.) of The Shattered Wig Review - a Baltimore-based literary (mostly poetry) magazine. Rupert's fotobooth picture ornaments the front cover. The author, Mok aka Mark appears to've reduced his name from "mock" & a mocking bk this is indeed. Much of what I consider to be the strongest work to come from Baltimore overflows w/ so-called 'black humor': Rupert's, Al Ackerman's, & Mok's overflow w/ it like a toilet-bowl backfiring from hell. Baltimore's a desperate place & if you're going to live there & not be in denial then you may just have the strength to look despair in its nasty face day in & day out & at least TRY to laugh. Take page 29's text:

"All the drugs just sit in the fridge, the needles lie rusting and unused. I keep my enema gear in tip-top condition, however, with a 1/2 quart of grain alcohol ready at hand. While my skin may grow cadaverous in the winter, still, some nights, overwhelmed by my own loveliness, I stroke myself to such effect that I sob with joy. And when everyone's asleep, I unwrap a little mummified hand that I've kept for years, give it a pen and let it transcribe my dreams.

"Tangled in neglect, poverty and periodic catastrophe, one might imagine our little home an unhappy one, but nothing could be further from the truth. It is said that Lord Buddha is present everywhere and it's a pity that's a lie. For when there's no human sound, on a winter's morning, at daybreak, in our house he would find the most exquisite nothingness..."

Edgar Allan Poe lived in many places but he DIED in Baltimore & that's no surprise. The beginning of this bk states that it was finished "far away in exile due to Mok and his despicable nature this littel boke has funnies stories poems and things for you to like I'm sorry it's so gross and disgusting but... well..." Mok wrote it from Carolina Beach, North Carolina.

The use of spellings like "littel" & "boke" evoke an older English, an older language. I like to think it's deliberately evocative of the era of epic picaresque tales such as those in Bocccacio's "Decameron" - peopled by a cast of characters fleeing from the plague; or in Cervantes' "Don Quixote" - written from debtor's prison.

Trying to find a translation from Français to English for Fait-Divers online, I find an interesting diversity & perplexity: "human interest story", "current affairs", "in the news", "story in the news", "criminal case in the news", etc.. Mok's choice of it for the title mocks the news, plays trickster w/ the news, as w/ what I call CRIMINAL SANITY, a trickster takes the powerful & pompous down a peg & the 'crimes' of this bk reinstate a chaos that's ultimately much more egalitarian than the society of the mass media will ever be.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 12, 2008 – Shelved
July 12, 2008 – Shelved as: art
July 12, 2008 – Shelved as: literature

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